Sweet Williams definitely stole my heart as favorite flower for June and July. As they start to swoon and the zinnias look to zip into the No. 1 spot, my attention has turned to collecting Sweet William seeds to make sure I have plenty going forward.
Yet another charming characteristic of Sweet Williams is that you don’t have to guess when they’re ready for you to take their seeds. Unlike a lot of flowers and herbs that change from “all systems go” to “Hey! Where’d you go?” in a flash, Sweet Williams usually give you a window of several days to a week to collect their seeds.
Here’s a beautiful, healthy Sweet William:
Here’s one who’s definitely past his prime but not ready for seed collecting:
And here’s one who’s “open for business” to collect seeds:
The buds literally open up when they’re ready and, assuming you don’t have torrential winds, the seeds will stay in the little “cups” for a while until you’re ready to harvest them.
I will either cut the spent flower off (also known as “deadheading”) or if there’s just one spent blossom on an otherwise healthy stalk of flowers, I’ll just tip the stem into a paper bag, shake the Sweet William and the seeds will fall out.
It’s just that easy, Internet Friends. The seeds look tiny, flat, black kernels:
Sweet Williams are by no means the only flowers who “open” up when they’re ready for seed collection, but they’re the only ones in my little patch of dirt that do it this way. Let me know if you have any flower or herb seeds that send you similar signals when they’re ready for collection.